Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

March 26, 2008

Random Comics News Story Round-Up

* I'm already sick of Marvel b0y.

image* an article about Arabic translation of that old, post-Montgomery Martin Luther King, Jr. educational comic book will probably be the widely-traveled link of the day.

* you know things are weird when you catch yourself maybe rooting for Barnes and Noble to buy Borders and turn into a dominant super-store, potentially crushing even more of the nation's remaining small bookstores like Godzilla with leg cramps.

* strangely, between the Anne Frank comic and the anti-terrorism comic, it's Germany that seems to have turned into an institutional-supportive comics country.

* here's an article from Seattle about a fascinating subject: gentrification, with the comics connection coming in the form of the Fantagraphics store -- the kind of entity that helps drive neighborhood reform but probably doesn't want it to go all the way.

* they're starting to sell books about comics even when it seems like the book has already been written by someone else.

* not comics, and maybe only of interest to me and three other people: someone's made a documentary about Nigar Nazar.

* Garry Trudeau notes that the occasional hiatus has probably kept him from quitting the field altogether.

* how awesome would this story be if the deputy had passed out after eating half a tray of lasagna?

* comics chat 01: Steve Bennett kicks off a big day for comics talk on the Internet when he digs into the interesting issue of mainstream comics companies' recent resistance to manga art and story influence, although it's difficult to think of this as the most important thing about manga or even a vitally important one.

* comics chat 02: Dick Hyacinth ruminates on the increasingly plot-driven focus of superhero comics and superhero comics hype, noting a few things I hadn't, like how comics press efforts play into this and how there's even a trend towards using promotional material as aids to discern future plot developments.

* comics chat 03: Ben Towle discusses the indy/alt definitions of comics. What people sometimes forget is that there's an historical factor to those definitions that makes remembering them easier: independent comics were genre-driven companies like First and Dark Horse whose primary distinction is that they weren't DC or Marvel; alt-comics companies were companies like Fantagraphics and Drawn and Quarterly whose primary distinction were that they published material that they and their readers generally felt matched other expressions of early 1990s alt-culture in intent and in opposition to the thrust of their industries' values. In other words, the terms overlap a bit from the start and emphasize different things; any confusion in applying them now is probably caused by the assumption that they shouldn't and don't.

* comics chat 04: a lot of dissenting opinions over the value of that big Barks set at the Comics Journal message board. Also: nice cartoonists; not-nice cartoonists.

* comics chat 04: Finally, here's a massive and must-read thread (for industry wonks, anyway) on the opportunities and limitations of webcomics revenue.
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